Washington: The US Senate has passed a bill which among other things requires declassification review of the documents collected in the covert raid that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan in May 2011.
The Senate passed the 2014 Intelligence Authorization Bill with a voice vote.
"This marks the fifth consecutive year the Senate has adopted legislation exercising strong oversight of the US intelligence community," Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein said.
The bill requires that the President prepare a plan to respond to the unauthorised public disclosure of any covert action.
It also requires a declassification review of documents collected in Pakistan`s garrison town of Abbottabad during the secret mission that killed bin Laden.
The bill authorises funding for counterterrorism, counter proliferation, intelligence collection on critical threats, advanced information technology infrastructure to improve analysis and information sharing, and improvements to security measures to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of classified information.
It requires the general counsel of each intelligence agency to notify the congressional intelligence committees of any significant legal interpretation of the Constitution or federal law affecting intelligence activities conducted by the agency, to include any significant interpretations resulting from opinions of the Justice Departments Office of Legal Counsel (OLC).
The bill includes far-reaching whistleblower protections for intelligence personnel. It prohibits firings, demotions or other personnel actions against intelligence community employees as a reprisal for legitimate whistleblower activities.
It prevents intelligence agency managers from revoking an employee`s security clearance as a reprisal for legitimate whistleblower activities and creates an appeals procedure for employees who believe they have faced such reprisal.